The ‘Nanny Plum’ Mindset

“That’s an idea. It’s a very stupid idea, but its an idea”

Nanny Plum, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom

I watch a disproportionate amount of kids tv which is just one of those things you have to accept when you have a small child. One of those programmes is ‘Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom’, the premise of which is that the show is based in a ‘little kingdom’ amongst some ‘thorny brambles’. One of the characters is a nanny called Nanny Plum who is a forthright but humorous nanny to a princess called Holly.

In one episode, the children needed a plan because something wasn’t working. The details aren’t important. Ben or Holly came up with an idea and the quote above was Nanny Plum’s response. She was unconvinced by the idea but decided to try it all the same. And the idea worked. All very predictable but this is a programme aimed at small children so let’s not judge too harshly.

Leaps of faith are not uncommon in business, and they absolutely have their place. Trying something new, being prepared to fail and making a call that really could go either way is both brave and risky as well as sometimes, essential.

And it’s usually a measured judgement, weighing up the ultimate benefit versus the maximum risk, calibrated with a further consideration of the likely outcome and whether that fits within acceptable parameters.

There’s a fear that evidence-based HR prevents people from taking leaps of faith.

Opponents, or those demonstrating some reticence, believe that a too structured approach to decision-making could be restrictive and could suffocate gut-driven experiments, but to you I say this; take a leap of faith with evidence-based HR.

Try out the process just once or twice and see where it takes you. Research possible solutions to the problems you are asked to try and fix in your working lives, and see whether it helps or hinders your work, and then share the results with the rest of us. Become an evidence-producer as a friend of mine Perry Timms recently said.

After all, to you, evidence-based HR is just an idea. Like all those other processes once were that you have become accustomed to. Like everything that’s helped you become the practitioner that you are, all those tools, concepts and notions are, they are all just ideas. You once tried those things for the first time, so why not take a similar leap of faith with Evidence-Based HR. Why not give evidence-based HR the same treatment, and come at it with the same mindset. The Nanny Plum mindset.

It might work for you, it might not, but trying and knowing is always better than not trying and guessing. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s